A day after declining to answer whether he owned a dog, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick released a statement Thursday confirming that his family had recently obtained one.
"I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet," Vick said in a statement released by his publicist. "As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.
"I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God's creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change."
Last week, Vick tweeted a photograph of him and his daughter seated together at a table presumably at home. To their right was an open box of Milk-Bone dog biscuits. The tweet was later deleted and was replaced by a similar photo, sans the Milk-Bone box.
Several days later, the Eagles quarterback was asked to explain the photos.
"I'm here to strictly talk about football," Vick said Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. "What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What's most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday."
Vick could not own a dog during a three-year probationary period following his release from prison. He served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring and an additional two months of house arrest following his release in May.
He had spoken openly about wanting to own a dog and in July told CNN's Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters from having the pet because of his crimes. Asked what kind of dog he would get, Vick said that he would allow his children to choose, but "it certainly won't be a pit bull."